The Shenandoah Valley begins at the top of Virginia via I-81 and is approximately 140 miles long with the Blue Ridge to the east and the Alleghenies to the west ending in Rockbridge County. Before the rest of the continent was explored, the Shenandoah Valley was considered the American frontier. Many years later, the region would play a crucial role in the American Civil War. The turmoil and triumphs of the region’s rich history have been preserved in many museums and sites all across the Shenandoah Valley. It can also be seen in the character and architecture of the cities and towns. The unique history of the Shenandoah Valley makes it the authentic and amazing place that it is today.
The Shenandoah Valley will forever be associated with Shenandoah National Park. Opened in 1935, the park encompasses nearly 200,000 acres along the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park can be accessed through the quaint Shenandoah Valley towns of Waynesboro, Luray and Front Royal. Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway are recognized as two of the most popular scenic drives in America. They both offer stunning views and a peaceful experience, as commercial trucks are not allowed on either road. While they are certainly the most famous byways in the Shenandoah Valley, they are certainly not the only scenic drives. Quiet back roads meander throughout the valley connecting towns, farms, wineries and more. Scenic drives through the Shenandoah Valley are very popular with bikers and motorcyclists.
Throughout the Valley, there are hiking trails that range from an easy stroll in the woods to multi-day excursions. The famous Appalachian Trail winds through the region, including a long stretch within Shenandoah National Park. There are also plenty of options to float through the Shenandoah Valley. Canoes and kayaks offer a refreshing way to experience the beauty of the valley and possibly spot local wildlife on the James, Maury, Middle and Shenandoah Rivers, just to name a few.
Things To Do
The history and heritage of the region includes many sites devoted to the pioneers who traveled westward, settled and farmed - those like the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton and Cyrus McCormick's Farm in Raphine. He invented the first reaper! Another historical site of the region is the Birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson.
The Shenandoah Valley features picture-perfect postcard farms and inns along country roads. One of the natural wonders of this world is the Natural Bridge. Be sure to visit the region's many caverns, which include Luray, with the only stalacpipe organ, and Shenandoah, with an elevator to take you underground!
If you're interested in the great outdoors, you'll love the hiking trails, paddle sports and horseback riding. Two popular resorts are in the Shenandoah Valley: Bryce and Massanutten, which offer year-around activities.
For more things to do in the Shenandoah Valley Region, visit ShenandoahValley.org.